I’m leaving for San Diego this week, and starting the trail on Friday. I have been so focused on planning these last several months that it took me until this weekend to fully comprehend that I will be spending my entire summer outside. Pretty exciting. Congruently, the moment that I will be leaving my husband, dog and cats for five months comes closer each day, bringing sadness and anxiety. I am already Manic Depressive. Adding situations that legitimately create stress and moodiness does not a good Amy make! Overall, I have handled this whole process of planning (and the emotions that accompany it) very well, but I notice that I am definitely cycling between aloofness and teary proclamations more than usual.
Aaron and Nisa are meeting me at Lake Morena and again at Mt. Laguna to help me transition to solo hiking. They will be camping at Lake Morena, day hiking and, from what is sounds like, eating lots of milkshakes. Aaron seems to have coined a new term, “Sympathy Hiker Hunger”, and has already mapped out everything HE wants to eat when he comes out to resupply me at different points along the trail. He is so food motivated. One of the ways I eased him into the idea of hiking the JMT with me in 2011 was by repeatedly describing how delicious, how euphoric, how TRANSCENDENT it would be to hike 225 miles and then eat the Mooseburger at Whitney Portal. It became a kind of mantra as we trained. Soon everything we did was a part of one long trail that led to the Mooseburger. “Just getting to that burger,” we would say. Six months out. Walking a trail in Morgan Hill. At the grocery store. On the couch. All of it just one long trail. Hence, Aaron earned the trail name, “Mooseburger”.
So, Aaron is “Mooseburger” and our dog, Nisa, is “Deerchaser”, but I don’t really have a trail name. I mean, there are names that Aaron has called me on the trail; “Snarkles”, “Not Happy” and “Tripsalot” to name a few, but I don’t feel like I have really been named yet. I spent last month trying to convince Aaron that my trail name should be, “Hell Yeah”. I campaigned hard for it, to no avail. I tried to respond to everything he said with a “Hell yeah!” thinking maybe he would ‘organically’ catch on and bequeath it to me. But, nope. Honestly, I think the twin names of “Hell Yeah” and “Fuck No” really distills me down to my essence. If I had a comic, I would call it, “The Adventures of Hell Yeah and Fuck No”, with the central characters being me and me. Ah, well. I won’t force it. I won’t like, throw it out there in public, name a blog post after it and see if it sticks. Not me, Fuck no!
Next stop, San Diego. See y’all out there!